Planning the N.E.X.T. Step

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office connected with students during the N.E.X.T. Step Fair at the Maize Woodruff Center last week.

Planning the N.E.X.T. Step
July 25
00:10 2019

Career fair helps recent high school grads plot their future

With the cost for college at an all time high and the state of the job market changing every few months, planning for life after high school can be scary, but last week recent high school graduates had the opportunity to jump-start their futures during the N.E.X.T. Step Fair.

Held at the Forsyth Tech Community College (FTCC) Maize Woodruff Center, 4905 Lansing Drive, the N.E.X.T. (Navigating and Empowering Excellence by Transitioning) Step Fair was a job, college and career fair all rolled into one. Throughout the day, recent graduates from high schools throughout the district connected with representatives from more than a dozen local businesses and organizations, with several hiring students on the spot.

Participants included Hanesbrand, The Resource, Lowe’s, T-Generation, Goodwill, Debbie’s Staffing, CPI Staffing, FTCC, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, Winston-Salem State University, Salem College, Universal Technical Institute, ECPI University, and Empire Beauty School. The City of Winston-Salem, Winston-Salem Police Department, Winston-Salem Fire Department, and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office also participated in the event.

The brainchild of Barbara Hanes Burke, vice chair of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education, the event also featured a live DJ and free food. Burke said her goal with the event was to create a “one-stop shop” for recent grads still planning their next steps. A former educator with more than 30 years of experience, Burke said the career fair was geared toward students who are at a pivotal point in their lives when it comes to deciding their future plans, and she wanted to lend a helping hand.

“I wanted to create a one-stop shop for them to talk to employers and get all the information. Talk to educational advisors and find out what programs they have to offer at their colleges and universities,” said Burke. “If they didn’t come here with a next step plan, my goal is to make sure that when they leave here today, they have one.”

According to Burke, the plan is to hold N.E.X.T. Step fairs annually and eventually during the school year as well. Burke said she wants to give high school graduates in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County opportunities to be successful.

“We want to make sure we’re giving our students every opportunity to be successful, productive citizens,” Burke said.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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